Traffic fine fraudster targets women

2011-11-01 00:00

A TRAFFIC fine fraudster is operating in Pietermaritzburg and people are warned not to fall prey to the man, who masquerades as “Warrant Officer Pieterse”.

It is believed that his targets are women.

A woman who almost lost R1 800 to the fraudster told The Witness she was shocked when he phoned her to say that she would be arrested if her pending traffic fines were not paid.

She was instructed to make the payment at a grocery outlet that has a money transfer facility or she would face arrest.

Said the woman, who withheld her name, “He knew my name, my car registration number, e-mail address and my contact number. He told me that I owed traffic fines and when I asked him what these fines were for, he said the police were on their way to arrest me. I was scared because this man had all my particulars. I knew of no fines against me, but I almost believed him.”

She said the man instructed her to go to the grocery outlet with a money transfer facility.

“That’s when I realised that something was wrong. Traffic fines and over-the-counter money transfers don’t go together. He told me I needed to go to the store and phone him when I was there so that he could give me a reference number and tell me where to deposit the money.”

She phoned Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen and told him about the matter.

A former police officer, Holtzhausen told the woman not to deposit the money because it sounded like a scam.

Holtzhausen said the modus operandi is for the victim to receive a call from the fraudster, who claims to be a warrant officer in the Road Traffic Inspectorate. “He scares his victims by telling them they face arrest if they don’t pay an outstanding warrant and instructs them to go to Checkers and phone a number when they are there,” he said.

Police have investigated the incident and can confirm that it is a scam.

Spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan warned that criminals want to make a quick buck during festive season.

The public should call Warrant Officer Frans Bezuidenhout at 033 845 2734 or 073 199 4132 if they are approached in this way.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

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